Grade 3 Curriculum
Students continue to develop the pleasure of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Through this literature-based curriculum students are involved in activities that help to expand through writing, pictures, music, drama, games, storytelling, and art what they have observed and read. As a part of a readers workshop, pupils are involved in reading groups where skills are refined, vocabulary enriched, and meaningful discussions enable students to connect with each other and with texts. The mechanics of language and creative expression are developed during the writing process that continues to be a major focus of the program. Science, social studies, and math are integrated into the language arts curriculum. Cursive writing is continued.
The math curriculum focuses on increasing the student's’ ability to understand, reason, predict, invent, and communicate mathematically. The program incorporates real world problem solving using hands-on learning. Students continue to strengthen computational skills in addition and subtraction, while developing new skills in multiplication and division. They will also expand their knowledge of counting with money, telling time, fractions, geometry, measurement, and graphing. IXL, a computerized program utilized in the classroom, advances students at an individualized pace, which allows both remediation and enrichment.
The study of immigration and Native Americans are the foci of the social studies curriculum in Grade 3. Students learn to view events, concepts, issues, and problems from varied perspectives. An emphasis is placed on learning about the Native American cultures, the impact of European and other immigration, and the current experience of various ethnic groups in America. Discussions, field trips, videos, current events, art activities, guest speakers, library research, creative drama, and literature are used to increase student appreciation, understanding, and knowledge of various ways of living, past and present. Creative writing focuses on empathizing with the plight of both Native Americans and immigrants. Maps, globes, and other geographic tools are used throughout the year.
Through an integration of music, dance, social studies, and drama, the Grade 3 study of Native American history and culture culminates in our traditional Pow Wow, a gathering of all the grades for a celebration of community and gratitude.
Students explore life and earth sciences. The program incorporates both scientific processes and scientific literacy. The year begins with a study of the human body and students will be doing experiments using simple physiological equipment to determine how some of the major systems in the human body function. Students then move to an examination the interaction of plant and animal populations that live in the Arctic tundra and also talk about how people have had an impact on some of the wildlife there. Grade 3 students end the year with an extensive water unit during which they investigate the water cycle, where we get our water from in New York City, and our role in keeping it clean.
In Grade 3, children add to their speaking and listening skills by beginning to write in French. They continue to learn through thematic units that are pertinent to their everyday lives, such as food, hobbies, and likes and dislikes. They use listening, speaking, and now writing skills to complete projects, skits, and songs for class presentation. Speaking in front of classmates is encouraged, and correct pronunciation and beginning grammar are introduced. Children learn more about “le monde francophone” and really begin to understand what a different culture and different traditions mean.
Students work on projects related to their academic program while working in a variety of media and art techniques. Projects often reflect specific cultures and the backgrounds of the students in the class, particularly as they relate to the immigration experience. Projects have included Japanese paper marbling, Italian paste design booklets, African rice flour batik, Swedish paper cutting, and Puerto Rican seed jewelry. Grade 3 students also learn about what makes a still life, landscape, and portrait.
Classroom activities include singing and playing percussion instruments, rhythm games, and dance. Students begin to develop collaborative and ensemble skills. Recorders are introduced in the second half of the year giving students a direct application for their acquired notation skills.
Students refine their ball skills, extend the implementation of physical fitness concepts, and continue to learn how to lead and be part of a team. They continue to study basic game strategies for soccer, basketball, floor hockey, volleyball, and team handball. The climbing wall provides students with the opportunity to engage in motor skill acquisition with fitness development, to combine decision making with communication skills, and to meet new challenges.
Students review the Dewey Decimal System and the way books are organized in the library. They practice locating books on the library shelves. Students are encouraged to use the online catalogue as a search tool. As students' interests and abilities grow, they are urged to continue to explore and familiarize themselves with the library collection and to develop themselves as readers through library class and programming, as well as independent reading.
In Grade 3, students “graduate” from being younger partners to become older partners to their classmates in Junior Kindergarten. They meet once a week for educational and social activities. The Partners Program provides an opportunity for older and younger children to develop strong and lasting relationships. It offers early experiences in service to others and contributes to the strong sense of community across all grades that is characteristic of St. Luke’s School.
While students continue using technology in the classroom, formal computer and technology instruction begins in Grade 3. These students become familiar with using both network and cloud- based accounts. They learn how to research information and present their work in Power Point. Upon completion of this assignment, students begin learning about programming languages using Scratch. All projects are designed to teach technology skills and support cross curricular homeroom activities.
Students compare the major beliefs of the Semitic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They learn more about the founders and leaders of each religion, as well as the specific traditions, beliefs, and places of worship. Students build upon their knowledge of the relationship between faith and religion as they examine how religious teaching and leadership influence individual and communal worship.
In Grade 3, students attend Chapel two times a week, including Thursday Eucharist. The aim is to affirm and nurture all students in their spiritual life, and to strengthen their connection to their own religious tradition. The Book of Common Prayer provides the basis of Chapel services. Wednesday Chapel explores readings, seasons, and holidays appropriate to the calendar, and includes singing, prayer, and a psalm. Thursday Eucharist includes non-sectarian prayers and birthday blessings in the context of Episcopal ritual. In all, the Episcopal concept of “common prayer” celebrates the diversity of religious tradition and experiences among faculty, students, and staff.
All the Lower School classes, Junior Kindergarten through Grade 4, attend a morning meeting on Fridays, called Mentions. Children share news, celebrate talents and interests, and learn about community and current events at a developmentally appropriate level.
The Lower School dance program explores dance and movement as a non-verbal form of communication. It encourages students to express themselves through structured and creative movement. The dance program helps to develop an appreciation for different genres of dance. Students attend dance once a week in the Archive building.
Students begin Grade 3 with an integration of music, dance, social studies and drama study of Native American history and culture culminating in our traditional Pow Wow. The last part of the year delves deeper into the four elements of dance, focusing on creating a choreographed dance collaboratively.
In Grade 3, students may participate in the following optional extracurricular activities:
Acolytes: Students may volunteer to serve as acolytes during Thursday Eucharist.
Choristers: Students may audition in the spring of Grade 3 for the St. Luke’s Choristers, who sing weekly at Thursday Eucharist and Sunday service at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields.
An extended day program is available with many enrichment classes offered for an additional fee.